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Tantalising Tassie

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

A year or two back, we travelled to Tasmania for a multi-purpose trip - time with family, photoshoot and exploring this stunning island. Here's a rundown of the trip and what you can see.

A couple of days travelling through NSW to Victoria

We drove from Sydney to Melbourne, via Shepparton, the Grampians and Port Fairy. It was fun to not be on too much of a schedule, so we could explore some lovely towns on the way and view the beautiful and very popular MacKenzie Falls. Port Fairy on the coast was a beautiful windswept town, with heritage buildings and homey accommodation - no penguins but a cute lighthouse!

Port Fairy lighthouse

Along the coast to Melbourne

I had no idea of the grandeur of the Twelve (or 8) Apostles and recommend it as a place to visit before they all wash away. They are stunning even in the harsh middle of the day light. with panoramic shots everywhere you look. The native vegetation on the south coast is beautiful with its grey greens, perfectly suited to the salt laden conditions.

Rock formations
The Twelve Apostles

Onto Tasmania via the Spirit of Tasmania and onto Oatlands

Our kids have bought a Georgian cottage and are doing it up in this picturesque town in the middle of Tassie. The first day, we did a recce of local historical spots for a photoshoot the next day (@frenchconsul) and then enjoyed delicious local wine and cheese at a wine bar, ‘Imbibers’ Beautiful Lake Dulverton at dawn - a bird paradise.

lake and swans
Lake Dulverton, a bird paradise, at dawn

Next day was an all-day photoshoot for French Consult (@frenchconsul), located in beautiful old buildings, with stunning patina, history oozing through the pores. A successful day with many pics!

Onto Hobart and beyond

Salamanca Markets in Hobart are massive! Food, wine, spirits, clothes, all the usual with masses of people. COVID was still rampant and marshalls were restricting entry. Then a leisurely drive to Derwent Valley for delicious cider - and that pear cider is just delicious Bruny Island was our next stop - windswept beaches on the edge of the world.

Sea swept beach and waves
Bruny Island

It rained the next day, but the Botanic Gardens in Hobart still put on a display - the Japanese garden was a winner.

Japanese garden and bridge
The Japanese garden in Hobart Botanic Garden - the rain set in, but still gave some lovely photo opps

Onto Inverawe Native Garden, beautifully landscaped native gardens, with plants from all over Australia. Converted from a weed infested site, the 22 acres hosts over 12,000 native plants.

Lake Pedder via Russell Falls, and onto Cradle Mountain

The Gondwanan rainforests in Mount Field National Park remind us of our place in evolution. The giant ferns, gushing waterfalls (including Russell Falls), lush mosses and lichens and the turning of the fagus (Nothofagus gunnii, deciduous beech) - one of Australia's few deciduous trees. I was in native plant heaven scouting out the orange leaves against the snowy ground.

Russell Falls

The turning of the fagus, Northofagus

Lake Pedder and then north to Cradle Mountain

Onto Pedder with spectacular granite cliffs and mountains along the way, staying at Lake Pedder for the night. A great chance to catch the sunset over the lake – too much cloud of course, but serene…

Lake at sunst
Lake Pedder

It kept raining as we headed north, and the snow set in. As a spoilt Sydney-ite, the cold was a bit sobering, but we had a lovely warm chalet with a spa. I took the bus next morning to Dove Lake and wandered half way round. Wet camera, wet shoes, wet gloves, wet human, but lots of fun. I did manage to photograph the famous boathouse. In the afternoon, I went out again and wandered the tracks (in the rain), meeting some critters along the way and loving the alpine vegetation.

Cradle Mountain hosts much of Tasmania's endemic species with alpine flora predominating. This includes the snow gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora), Tasmanian eyebright (Euphrasia sp.), scoparia (Richea scoparia), heath, Alpine coral fern (Gleichenia alpina), button grass (Gymnoschoenus sphaerocephalus) and trees like Cheshunt pine (Diselma archeri) and pencil pine (Athrotaxis cupressoides).

Heading east to Freycinet and Swansea

Next stop was Freycinet on the east coast. I'd booked a Cessna flight with NO DOORS, and this was truly a wonderful, albeit existential experience. It was initially scary with nothing between me and ocean but the vistas were so stunning, there was no time to waste on useless pondering!. This was my first crack at aerial photography - it was exhilarating and all over too soon.

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